Monday, February 24, 2014

Jack Frost...beware...he's out to get us...

Hey...it's been almost 2 months since the last posting here.  There's good reason for this!

If you're on Facebook, you already know I've been having my annual winter "moments of illness". And that's all I'll say about that!!!

Life is going by at a very quick pace, seems to me.  Since retirement it has almost gotten out of control.  It used to be that one day would run into another but I'm now finding that one month runs into another.  Wasn't it just January....yesterday?  Nope.  Heading into March this week!  Perhaps that is what happens when one is sick, also.  Your days speed by as you attempt to cope with the illness...doctors appointments, new drugs, trying to breathe, lack of sleep, etc. etc. You just want to be well and so those hours run into days, then into weeks and finally into months.  It can get away on you.

The one good thing though is that Shannon and Brittney had birthdays in February and so we managed to be together for one of those events.  Having Matt home for these few months added to the enjoyment of 'family time'.  It was good too, to have Brittney come home from Saskatoon for a very brief visit.  Do we ever see our children enough?  I really don't think so.....such is life....


So now the long wait through this next week as it gets down to honkin' cold temps.  I can't say I enjoy minus 35 degrees especially when March is on the horizon...and dare I say, spring is lurking but afraid to show her face quite yet. Jack Frost can be such a spoil sport.

So let's look forward to this:






It won't be long....

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Priorities....

Life has been ticking along.  Some areas good.  Some not so good. But they are progressing at least, not going too far backward!

There has been so much going on in the past two months...not so much inwardly, unfortunately, but outwardly.  The busyness of life sometimes takes over and makes one shirk the responsibilities of one's inner life....spirit and soul life. That's not good.

It's usually circumstances of one sort or another that brings a person to, once again, face the realities of their own lives.  I like to think that I've been doing a fairly superb job at being a good..._____fill in the blank. It could be friend....boss....parent....wife....or any number of possibilities that one can think of.  When we are faced head on with our short-comings, however, life takes a bit of a spin.  It initially begins with our feeling incompetent, which in turn, leads us to feeling somewhat overwhelmed at our failures and then we begin the downward spiral into melancholy.

However, there is another way to face these "incompetencies".  It's realizing that, yes, we are constantly failing at one thing or another and then not to turn inwardly, but to ponder over this realization and think about how one can make the situation better.

It involves that tiny little word....e g o...

So small.

So significant.

It shouts, "I'm important!" "Make me first!"  "I'm your #1 priority!"

That constant wailing should bring us up short.

I'm beginning to learn that letting go of those things that seem to matter most in life, is the beginning of disallowing my little E G O to have it's way with me. Yes, I said "beginning to"!  You'd think after 66 years of living, I could have learned how to not trust anything that I think may make me look better than I really am.

I'm learning things.  How to speak more clearly.  How to confront lovingly. How to express feelings that are genuine and caring.  I think I have been doing those things to a degree, but you know, there is always a great deal of RFI (room for improvement). This is a part too, of our church's "Behavioral Covenant", where it says something to the effect..."we need to speak openly and honestly with one another and to offer our opinions with love and humility."  Things like that.  It takes practice. It takes work.  It takes failure.  Only when we fail, do we realize our need for those RFI's!!!!

So, it's not just in church matters, or work-related matters...it's also in family matters too.

We must do many things to really see change come into effect.  Setting priorities.  Doing some meditating. Letting go of our ego.  Letting go of our "things", which include opinions, thoughts, jewelry, judgments, furniture, cars, sons, grandchildren, relationships, wives/husbands, pets, houses, trips, daughters, church, work.....ya.  That's quite a bit of "letting go", I'd say. It means too, to let go of these things that become first place in our lives in order for God to take rightful place. The first of the Ten Commandments state: "You shall have no other gods before me."  These "things" in our lives can take over and become little gods to us...can take over in the number one spot.

Actually, Jesus says it best:  "...anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first."  

Personally, I like the "whatever" part!  It seems to include much of life!  But when our priorities are wrong, we end up last. Switch those priorities around (and that means making the decision to do so coming from the heart) then we end up first!  It's what Jesus said, at least.

So, I shall continue on this course of improvement.  Should you see me acting unbecomingly and contrary to all I have mentioned here, please feel free to approach me and make me accountable.  It's what love does.

As the song goes..."...these are a few of my favorite things".  Am I willing to let them take a back seat...even my family, in order for God to be number one?










  Good question.  It's become a priority.....I'm working on it...


Saturday, November 16, 2013

HP will be the death of me...

That's right!!!!  Machines will be the death of me!

I have this piece of junk for a printer.  It's beautiful on the outside, nice and shiny.  It copies, faxes, emails, cooks up a great supper....prints.  Ya....prints alright!  It prints only in color.  Anything that is in black, comes out blank.

Off to the box store for new cartridges, thinking that was the problem.

We're talking HP products here folks!!!  Junk! Total Junk!

Went on the HP forum on Google asking the question..."why is my HP printer not printing in black?" Behold, I am one among many who are asking the same dad blamed thing and the only solution HP can come up with in response is, "Please unplug your machine" and "realign your machine by pressing this and that and this and that and this and that and this and that and this and that" and then, "press OK".  Nothing works.

You would think a corporation this large would have a simple solution to this problem, wouldn't you?  I mean, they must be dang millionaires/billionaires by now...especially if everyone buying their products have to pay $15. plus dollars for every cartridge they replace...so that's $60 bucks a shot for this printer.  See what I mean.  THEY ARE MAKING CRAP MERCHANDISE and I for one, will never again purchase anything HP....EVER AGAIN!!!!

I know.  I know.  I can use the various colors to print off documents.  I guess that's my only solution.  You would think someone at HP would have at least given folks that option, even if it's an obvious one...but NO...they don't even offer that.

See.  I'm really ticked off about this!  REALLY!  Machines are wonderful, necessary killer beasts.  They let you use them and just when you become dependent on them for their usefulness, they come in for the kill, slicing at your heart and leaving you wondering what hit you.  Ya.  Machines do that.  They do.  They're like a heartless lover who only thinks of taking what they can get and leaving you abandoned with no black print job!

I could go on.

Well, then there's all the paper that gets wasted not to mention your time and brain power.  I even called in the big guns...Matt.  He did all the looking and unplugging and Googling and such.  So, that's two people involved.  But then there was my special trip to the box store to purchase a black and magenta cartridge because the machine asked for them.  Ya, the crap products talk to you too!  So, after replacing those two cartridges, the black still didn't print!  So, then I figured perhaps it needed all the cartridges replaced.  Texted Matt and asked if he would stop by the said box store on his way home and purchase a new cyan and yellow cartridge...plus an extra black one to have on hand....all in all, a $75. buck touch...PLUS TAX!!!  Yep.  That's why HP owners are sitting back on their fat behinds, raking in all my and millions of other folks' money.

Since retirement really doesn't produce much revenue, I may just think about going into production of crap merchandise myself.  At least it would be a lucrative business.  And I could wile away my days, twiddling my fingers, waiting for the cash to roll in from all my crap merchandise...and every now and then I could say something on the internet forum about my crap merchandise...I could say "Please turn your crap machine off and on again", while the cash flows in and piles up on my new Epson printer.

The end....

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My daughter speaks...

And this is how she summed up yesterday...a day with family...a day of reminiscing...


"We said good bye today to Eddie, my dad's brother. As we did so and as the day wore on MY family gathered all together later on (missing Brit) and reminisced of days gone by. We shared some good laughs of Uncle Eddie and it made me thankful for our time as a family and reminded me just how nice it was & still is to be able to share in each other's lives...time...which really is such a gift. It's hard, as I get older, watching my parents age, as I realize how short life really is in the watching of how quickly moments become memories before we have time to fully draw our awareness to our own presence in each time & place. I am lucky to have loving parents & an amazingly gentle brother alive who still love, as well as, offer me up endless amounts of patience, which in turn humbles me! Cheers to memories & families, with which none of us should ever have to go without!"


Yes, yesterday was special in so many ways and at so many levels.  Shannon summed it all up beautifully. She captured the importance of time...how we need to appreciate it and use it for our good and the good of others.

I did appreciate our day...probably as much as she did, even in the midst of death passing by.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Death stops by...

Ken's brother passed away this week.  He was 80.  Although in the past few years, we haven't really communicated that much, other than a coffee at McDonalds, a few BBQs at our trailer or the last time, while he sat and received his kidney dialysis.  He wasn't happy with the way his life was...dialysis three times a week for 4-6 hours at a time or more.  He was a bit of a grumpy fellow most of the time...who wouldn't be!! But it seemed to be in his nature.  Some folks are simply like that.  He enjoyed an argument, thinking he was right all the time. One of the things he will be remembered for.

But there was another side to Eddy.  He was generous to a fault. He had that kind of nature.  And he loved giving his all to his grandsons.  They were precious to him and never failed to mention their accomplishments...a true and devoted grandpa.

Life wasn't easy for him after his dear wife, Lorna, passed away.  Half of him was missing...like it is for most people who have lost their spouse after having been together for a very long time. And his health was very poor. Diabetes.  Heart problems. Kidney failure.  It all added up to his death.

I remember (can it be nearly 50 years ago!) him lending his little brother, Kenny, his brand new car to take for a spin.  We were dating at the time and here was my boyfriend pulling into our driveway with this HUGE deep purple, 2 door something-or-other car with plush everything inside and little tiny lights all around the floorboard, not to mention stereo sound on the radio!  I was impressed....impressed that my boyfriend's older brother, Eddy, would lend him his most prized possession to impress me.  And as the years went by, there were times he would take us fishing in his boat, when we had none. Times when he and Lorna would allow us to stay in their cabin, when we had none. That generous spirit impressed me through the years.  He was a good man underneath his grumpy exterior!

I recall him too, when he was younger...30 or so.  He was a handsome fellow with blond wavy/curly hair and an infectious laugh.  He and Lorna made a nice looking couple.  He was always proud of his wife too, I think.  She was a highly trained and proficient Director of Nursing at the Holy Family Hospital and he enjoyed her extroverted ways as it allowed him more friendships.  Otherwise, he was a 'quiet' kind of guy.

His grandsons will miss him, I know.  And even though we haven't been close in recent years, we shall miss him also.  The good thing is that his bad health and having to be alone...is over.

May God gather him up into a much better place than this...peace to his memory.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ready???

Not sure if I'm quite ready for the snow to stay.  It hasn't arrived as I type but it's expected to lay us flat by Monday.  Don't get me wrong...I love the white.  I love to see it falling and then sparkling when the sun comes out again. It's all so...wintry and Christmasy.

The older I get, the more I can sympathize with folks who don't look forward to the long months ahead, filled with cold weather and leafless trees. I may just need a 'project' of some sort. I have some crazy notions and ideas but we'll see how motivated I can become.

But getting back to the snow...I believe it's something within me that gets excited about watching a snow storm.  I could sit for hours and hours and just watch it pile up with the wind whipping it wildly, giving it shapes with ridges and banks winding it's way around corners of buildings and vehicles, covering trees and fields and rivers....giving the storm a creatively beautiful mind of its own. Yes, a storm simply creates it's own beauty.

Tomorrow will find me sitting silently by the window...watching the beauty that will envelop us.



Sleep well.....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bake it and they will come....

And they did.

People bought stuff they shouldn't be eating....and I was the number 1 culprit.

All for a good cause though.  It was the Women Ministries major fund raiser today and was, as usual, a great success.  Lots of hard work, many laughs, great visits and wonderful fellowship.  People bought up loaves of Sweedish Rye bread like there was no tomorrow.  The pies and butter tarts, jars of chokecherry syrup and dishes of date cake....all were bought and I know, will be devoured.

Some of our ladies were too ill to come, having colds and flu.  But the ones that took on great chunks of extra responsibility showed themselves, once again, faithful to the cause.

Here's how it all went.....















See, we CAN have some fun at church events:)  You can tell by all the smiling going on!